San Marcos is revving up for the large crowds anticipated to attend the Grand Prix Formula One race held mid-November in Austin.
The F1 race will be held Nov. 16 through 18 at the Circuit of the Americas, a recently constructed venue built specifically for the competition. San Marcos officials said they are preparing for an influx of guests to the city as a result of the race.
San Marcos is expected to draw visitors to the airport, downtown areas and the outlet mall.said although the city is not hosting any promotional or corresponding events for F1, officials will be looking at steps regarding law enforcement and public safety during that weekend.
Guerrero said the F1 race needs to be seen on a more regional level, and the economic impact to the area will be tremendous.
“It’s not just great for San Marcos, but for all of Central Texas,” Guerrero said.
The San Marcos Municipal Airport is utilizing a new radar display called the National Offload Program . The program is a secure, additional piece of equipment that has been added to monitor aircraft traffic between the San Marcos and Austin areas, said Laurie Moyer, managing director of Community Services.
Moyer oversees airport activity as part of her duties. She said the Austin airport is most likely already booked for the race. The San Marcos airport will provide an alternative for people coming in on their own aircraft or on non-commercial flights.
“Our role is to facilitate safety and attract aircraft (traffic),” Moyer said.
San Marcos is not hosting any F1 events, but it is looking to service large groups of visitors by providing general tourist information, said Rebecca Ramirez, executive director of the San Marcos Convention and Visitor Bureau.
Ramirez said nothing in the city itself will be “out of the ordinary” during the race weekend, but individual businesses are preparing for the amount of people coming in. She said local hotels are at 80 percent occupancy for that weekend, and retailers at the outlet malls are preparing for a high volume of traffic.
Brittonee Allen, front desk manager at Embassy Suites in San Marcos , said 30 rooms have been booked so far for the upcoming race weekend. She said that number is expected to double by the time the race arrives.
“It’s going to be crazy, but it’s going to give San Marcos good publicity,” Allen said.
The hotel has raised its rates for the event in accordance with clientele, Allen said. It is now expecting to bring in at least triple the revenue in comparison to regular weekends because of the increase, she said.